Monday, September 19, 2011

Snowflake

Snowflake
dave bostian & anna whitlock

            She was the kind of girl who’d gotten a snowflake tattoo on her foot—a very lovely foot, actually, nice arch, very curvy—but once she realized what a cliché it was (the tattoo, that is), she took the thing clean off with a hairdryer. The snowflake melted and the water from it trickled down into her toes—most of it eventually finding the floor through the valley between her big and second toes. The cat lapped up some of the water and wound up with a small snowflake tattoo on its sandpapery tongue. As to the rest of it, well, there is still an ink stain on the bathroom floor, also in the shape of a snowflake. But it doesn’t look a damn thing like the one from her foot. The thing about snowflakes is, each one is a little bit different than the one before.
            Anyway, it was shortly after that episode that I left her. Make no mistake, I loved her. I loved her intensely. But she couldn’t have been too fond of me. The way I figure it, she wanted to leave me, but she was too good a person to go around breakin’ someone’s heart like that—even if it was someone she wasn’t too fond of. She was that kind of person. She was that selfless. God I loved her. We used to shop for records together, but we just didn’t have the same taste. She’d buy Elton John and I’d buy the Jesus Lizard. I learned to love Elton John, and Iron & Wine, and all that sissy shit. And sure, she claimed to like the Jesus Lizard. But now I know she was just being kind—she’d been faking all along. She learned all the words to Countless Backs of Sad Losers not because she really believed it was a great song, but because she was a goddamned saint. A goddamned saint! So sincere in her selflessness that no artifice whatsoever came through in her performance. Hell, she didn’t just listen to the records and learn the words—she went to the shows with me, too. And she’d seem more excited than I was. When we saw the Jesus Lizard at the Metro, she insisted on being in the front row—got pinned up against a steel gate and had bruises on her chest for weeks, got kicked in the head by that crazy little “singer” of theirs, too. But she screamed louder than anyone there. She screamed so loudly she knocked her voice out for a bit. I know ‘cause on the way home, when she was singing along to Benny and the Jets, well, her hoarse little voice cracked and crackled like a campfire. She couldn’t even hit the higher notes.     
But in the end, it was only the snowflake I could think about—the way the damned thing just melted off, with a hairdryer of all things! She decides one day she doesn’t want it anymore and just like that it’s gone. Not even enough heat to hurt her skin. I’d kissed that same foot—that very tattoo—so many times, and nothing.
When you’re in love with someone you’re supposed to get hot for them.

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